Get off the beaten track and take a short drive south to explore Central Hawke’s Bay. With outstanding beaches, fishing and diving spots, water sport, cycling, an incredible number of historic homesteads and so much more - there are plenty of reasons to stop and stay.
Waipukurau is the biggest town and the agricultural hub of Central Hawke’s Bay. With a vibrant main street there's a great selection of local shops and cafes and is a perfect base to start day trips and get out and explore the area. A visit to the local library on Kitchener Street is the best way to start exploring and tap into some handy local knowledge.
Waipawa is a 5 minute drive northeast of Waipukurau and home to some of Hawke’s Bays best rainbow and brown trout fishing spots. Dotted along the main street are a number of boutique shops and cafes. You’ll also find the Central Hawke’s Bay Settlers Museum which offers a nostalgic glimpse of life back in the day. Waipawa is the hub of The Limestone Loop – a driving route through Otane, Waipawa and Tikokino a showcase of wine, shopping, culture, cafes and history.
This beautiful coastal community loves to welcome visitors and is famous for its hospitality - whether you are after a camping, cultural, historic or beach experience, Porangahau has got the goods. Summertime in Porangahau is a bare foot wander to golden sand beaches where you can surf cast, fly kites, ride blow carts on a windy day or simply soak up some sunshine and it is home to some incredible fishing and diving spots and summer events.
Just off SH2 between Hastings and Waipawa, is a small township with a big heart. The town is fiercely promoted by those who live and work there. The Sunday Otane market is a great way to kick off exploring Central Hawke’s Bay, held from 9am – 1pm and features local produce, plants, arts, crafts, vinyl records and more! Afterwards enjoy a coffee at McCauley’s cafe housed in the old Otane Public Library - a beautiful art deco building.
Tikokino & Ongaonga
An eclectic mix of history, art & country gardens, the Central Hawke's Bay township of Tikokino, on State Highway 50 north of Ongaonga, began as a 'very neat little town' of 86 sections sold in 1860. The town was originally named Hampden, after Sir John Hampden. Set in a peaceful spot a stones throw from SH50, Ongaonga has a collection of historic buildings gathered from all over the district and clustered around the Department of Conservation's field office creating a picturesque historic village.
Use the Finder below to discover more things to see and do while you're in Central Hawke's Bay